Denim on Top Collection

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There are so many choices out there this year! All of these pieces are available at Nordstrom and you can search by brand name.

These denim tops all run a little on the small side so it is a good idea to size up.

I own #5 and it is one of my favorites because of the incredibly soft denim and snap front. It’s fitted, but you can also layer a tank or tee with it.

I haven’t had a denim vest since the mid-90′s. I wonder if I can go there again?

I also really like #4 as the lace inset adds texture and just is a little more interesting than the typical denim shirt.

So what do you think? Do you like any of these choices or other things you’ve seen this spring?


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The Pull-On Jean

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Just the very words PULL ON could be a total turn off. It may even cause you to hit DELETE or UNSUBSCRIBE to my posts. However, I hope the majority of you reading will “hear me out” for my thoughts on this style.

The Pull on Jean that I know was designed by JAG. I probably had the inside scoop because of our relationship with the JAG rep at the boutique where I was employed last year.

In the spring of 2011 she introduced us to these jeans with the flat waistband. Immediately we laughed a little. Customers might compare it with the highly advertised “Pajama Jean” or think we were carrying maternity wear. Others would think it is the epitome of the “Mom jean”. What to do? Do we buy these and take a chance that they may sit on the shelf?

Nancy assured us that these were not only comfortable, but flattering and were selling very well! Now, every rep will say this, so you have to be discerning when buying. She told us the idea behind this design was to have a FLAT waistband which would alleviate that bulk from the snap or button on a traditional waistband (not to mention the holes this can create in our tops which is another topic for a different post!) Ok, so this made sense to me. We tried them on, and ordered a pair for ourselves.

I was excited when they came. I was able to go a size down from usual. The waistband stayed put and did not roll. My mid-section was flat and I felt thinner (always positive!) Muffin top was not an issue. I grew to love these jeans!

I think it is fair to say that JAG has hit the jackpot with this design. They are extremely popular at Nordstrom and other retailers.

Women of all sizes LOVE these jeans. I’ve had clients who are a size 2 rave about them. I’ve also had plus size women sing their praises. I will also tell you that there are certain percentage of women who cannot go there. It’s almost as though they feel insulted when I suggest this style.  They are worried that someone may see this waistband. To that I say, who cares? Most of us wear longer tops that will cover the jeans. No one will see.  It’s not like you would tuck anything in these jeans.  The photos below are only to show you the waistband.

I started out with the boot cut which is shown below. Later I added the slim cut, and I really like both.  You will notice that not every style is available in all sizes. For example, the shorts and the cropped style are only available in Petites or Plus sizes. The Ponte legging is new and I haven’t seen it in person.  One thing to keep in mind is the fact that Jag Petite sizes do not vary greatly in the rise in comparison to regular sizes. Always compare the inseam between Petite and regular sizes to be sure.  If you are on the tall size of Petites like myself (I’m 5’4) you may be able to get by with a Petite size especially if you are looking at the shorts or crops or simply want to wear a straight cut style with flats.

These are just a few of the choices. Check out all the options Nordstrom has to offer.

I’m curious what you think. Do you think this is a style you could embrace? Have you seen them in stores besides Nordstrom and Dillards? If so, what cuts/styles have you seen. I would love to know your thoughts.

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Denim Choices

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This year there seems to be more choices than ever for denim. Everything from trouser to skinny is in. The cuts are varied and now there are colors. Recently I found a great article on another blog I read. I think you will find this thorough overview on denim to be very helpful.

A special thanks to Jo-Lynne from Musings of a Housewife for allowing me to share. Enjoy.

Let’s hear it for the  perfect denim. Does it exist? Currently, what is your favorite pair of jeans? I’ll weigh in too as I respond to your comments.

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Best Fashion Tips: Denim

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Continuing with my ongoing series inspired by In Style’s 50 Best Fashion Tips of All Time, I’m going to tackle TWO tips in one post.

1. When purchasing denim go down ONE size. I know it’s hard! They seem tight. You feel “poured” into those jeans. You wonder what people might say when you walk down the street.

TRUST ME and every other sales associate who tells you to size down. Today’s denim is made to stretch and conform to your body, yet not stretch too much ( REMEMBER: keep those jeans out of the dryer for an extended period)

We sell a lot of denim at the boutique. Time and time again women come back even the next day to get a smaller size.

When helping women find the correct size, I always recommend trying on the size smaller to compare. Then I suggest the “denim dance”.

Move around, sit down, squat and bend. Keep those jeans on more than two minutes!

2. You should own  jeans in a variety of lengths hemmed to accommodate various heel heights. Remember that all important rule: Hem your pants 1/2 inch from the floor!

If you are setting out to buy a new pair of jeans this fall, you are luckier than ever. Every cut and style of denim seems to be in. You’ll see trouser jeans, flare, boot-cut, straight and skinny styles this fall.

Defining Denim:

-Trouser jeans are cut fuller through the leg and resemble a pair of pants with denim fabric.

-A flare style is generally fitted through the thigh with a wider flare than a boot cut. They look fabulous with heels.

- Don’t confuse straight cut with skinny as many women do. Straight cut jeans are nearly the same width from top to bottom. Skinny jeans will be very narrow from the knee to the ankle. There is a great deal of variance in the “leg opening” so be sure and check this. It will save you lots of time and cut down the number of items you bring into the dressing room.

-I believe that a Boot-Cut jean is the most universally flattering cut for most body types. Other stylists disagree and give the nod to the Straight Cut style. Try for yourself. Below are the best photos I could find showing the details of each cut.

Vince Trouser, Hudson Ferris Flare, True Religion Boot-cut, Citizen Ava Straight Cut, 7 for all Mankind Skinny all available at Nordstrom.

All of these brands fall in the category of PREMIUM high end denim. You’ll see these same brands at the Nordstrom Rack.

I have also become partial to a brand that we sell at the boutique and it is not as easy to find: WORN  Women love the fit and they love the price point: $69-89. If you are local you can visit me at Accentuate Boutique.

If you are long distance, Zappos carries many styles of WORN Denim.

Happy Denim shopping this fall and remember to write me with any of your questions. I enjoy helping women find that perfect pair of jeans!

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Things I Love: White Denim

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Perhaps I’m in the minority here, but I love white denim! I think I bought a pair of white jeans back in 2006 before I really saw anyone else wearing them. Now I have a pair of boot cut and straight cut in white. I love the way spring colors look with white.

Wait, what about wearing white in all the rain? I pick and choose when and where I wear white jeans. White denim is the perfect solution for our cooler, cloudy days in the Northwest. Needless to say, I’m still wearing them!

If you live in heat/humidity, I’m not sure white jeans will be top on your list. Perhaps you would hardly wear them before the heat sets in. It still might be worth one pair for your early spring days when you just want to wear something bright and colorful. I showed some white denim shorts for your sake.

I believe the key is choosing a heavier, thicker denim that is not as see through. (If you live in the south, you’ve probably cringing even reading this.) Proper undergarments under white jeans is important, but a topic for another post! If you go skinny or straight with a longer top you won’t have to worry about this.

Every year Cabi comes out with some great white denim. This year their Bree jean was my favorite. The Cabi season is over, but consultants are selling samples and their outlet store has lots of white denim.

 I also heard heard great things about Gap jeans.  The reviews say they are really more of a cream color and I saw that in the store. Actually, I believe that can work great with some outfits.

Levi’s has a very affordable brand, and they fit well I thought. (available in Macy’s stores but could not find them online) I also liked Kut from the Kloth at Nordstrom

Now some pictures to see how colors pop when wearing white jeans.

Last year’s photo from my son’s graduation. Imagine this jacket with black pants or dark denim–the white makes the outfit!  Cabi 2009/2010

Ok I’ve resorted to taking photos in front of a mirror like other bloggers. I can’t tell you how silly I feel standing in front of the mirror holding a camera and taking photos of myself, but it works!

I’m “dripping” with Stella & Dot in these photos. I wouldn’t be so quick to put lime green and turquoise together if it were not for this pieces.

Cabi Happy Tank from Spring 2011, green cardigan: Nordstrom Rack, white denim Cabi 2009 Copa Necklace, Paige Bangle, Mira Bangles from Stella & Dot.

Cabi Bree Jeans, Coral top: Nordstrom, Cardigan: Emu Australia from Accenutate Boutique.  La Coco Turquoise Beads, Sunset Bangle from Stella & Dot. Again, the jewelry helps tie these two colors together. Click on the links to get the close-up pictures of the jewelry. I LOVE all of these pieces and highly recommend!

The purpose of the photos was to show white denim; I just couldn’t resist showing all the fun jewelry as well. I realize it doesn’t show nicely in the photos. There’s only so much a girl can do when no family photographers are available. I have many ideas/photos coming for those of you that want to know how I choose jewelry for outfits.

So what do you think? Will you give white denim a chance?

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The Final Word on Jeans

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Are you curious how I could do a series on denim without mentioning the word Levis? Simply an oversight on my part! 4-5 years ago I had a cut of Levis that I loved. I still own a pair in white. You know how it goes–styles get discontinued and I didn’t find quite the same fit. I neglected to try the new Levis and there are many styles. I will see what I find and let you know.

I found several sources that match brand to body type. It left me frustrated and I felt it was inconsistent. “Brands for larger hips”.  Well almost every woman I know feels they have large hips even when they don’t. These charts were not doing it for me and I thought they might be misleading. Basically, I believe I gave you a great overview of many choices highlighting ones that carry plus sizes and those that seem to be cut generously in the hip/thigh (CJ and Christopher Blue) Now it really boils down to trying on a bunch of jeans. One more tip: Shape FX recently featured on Oprah.

I wanted to share two styles with you that you may or many not know about. The boyfriend jean is a little bit baggier fit through the hip and thigh and they are typically rolled. Pretty trendy right now–not sure if they will stick around. They are very comfortable and a nice look for spring/summer. Lucky and Ralph Lauren are shown. I like the look the best with a heel.

The trouser jean is a style that looks like a denim pair of dress pants. They are cut fuller in the leg/thigh and fit like pants. They are a great option if you do not care for the fit of jeans right now and/or things just aren’t fitting AND you want to wear denim! I’ve also been told that these can pass in the workplace for dress pants as they really look like a dark colored pair of pants until you get close. Unless you have serious dress code “police” at your office, you may be able to pull it off. Last year you hardly saw any trouser jeans. This year they are all over and it seems every brand is carrying them. Jag and CJ are shown.

Again, I recommend having a 2nd opinion for whatever you choose. If you go out, follow all the rules I gave you and can’t find a thing- please do not hesitate to call or write.

I also found this site. I did not pay to check it out; this might help. Try

What about the skinny jeans I promised to review? I decided to group it with leggings and jeggings which will be the next post.

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Denim and More Denim

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Part 3 takes us into more brands and fabric content. The last post I ended under the $100 price point. Another great source at this price point comes from CABI– Carol Anderson by Invitation. These clothes are sold at home parties. I’ve had several pairs over the years and always found them to be a great fit. I have a show most every season to get these clothes half price. There are also CABI outlet stores in various parts of the country. (Woodburn, Oregon)

Oprah put these jeans on the map this year: CJ by Cookie Johnson (Magic Johnson’s wife) They are perfect for the curvier figure and are cut generously in the hip/thigh. I had to go down a size! Sized to a generous 18, this brand gives more options than other high end jeans. Prices start at $112 and go up depending on style. Also try Christopher Blue.

Citizens of Humanity, True Religion, 7 for all Mankind, Hudson, AG, Joe’s, Paige, Rock & Republic bring us into the category of high end starting around $159. I realize that many of you reading will feel that is an outrageous price for jeans! I tend to agree that you are paying a lot for name. My challenge is to find these brands on sale. I loved the fit with Joe’s Muse, Citizen Amber and David Kahn. Most of these brands are a pretty low rise and go to size 32 which is equivalent to a size 12-14. Some do carry higher rise cuts. However, their high rise is often a mid rise on many women so be prepared to ask for help. Every wash fits differently; some brands mark down a discontinued wash. I found Joe’s on the sale rack HALF OFF and David Kahn at The Rack for 29.99 (previously altered to my inseam!)

Photo Credits: Nordstrom  You will find all these brands and more I didn’t  mention in the Denim Shop. Check out the helpful videos!

ALTERATIONS: I hear women complain frequently that if the jean fits the hip, it’s too big in the waist. The waist is easy to alter with a simple alteration known as darts. The waistband is made smaller easily. A good dry cleaners, alteration shops in malls or private seamstresses will be able to do this for you. Another option is this clear plastic belt if the problem is slight.

FABRICS: Most jeans have a form of stretch fabric such as elastane or spandex. This provides the “give” that every sales person refers to.”They’re going to stretch!” But what about when they stretch too much? I believe denim designers are getting it when it comes to finding the right mix of spandex. I recall jeans that contained 6%–now it’s more like 1-2%.  Some designers are using polyester instead which decreases fading, adds durability, and is more wrinkle resistant. Paige Premium Denim a brand I’ll discuss in a future post adds this component.

WASHING/DRYING: I already mentioned turning inside out. I dry jeans for just a few minutes on low and the take them out to hang dry. The dryer is simply hard on clothes. I steam lightly to rid that “crunchy” feeling or iron pocket flaps and hemlines. I noticed that Angie at You Look Fab does almost the opposite and has amazing results which alleviates ironing/stretching!

NEXT: Series will come to an end on Friday with a post on Jeans for Body types. What have you learned?

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Denim Shopping 101

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 It’s now time to really talk FIT. Nine times out of ten, women walk out of the dressing room and say,”These are too tight!” Today’s jean has a different look and feel. Consider the stretch factor. If you find a size that works, go down ONE size just to compare. Think booty, hip, thigh. Waist can be altered. Beware of relaxed cuts that are too roomy in the thighs.

  1. Go slowly when you shop. Quality time in the fitting room—45 minutes to an hour—pays off. Be patient, ASK  for help and know there is a pair for you!
  2. Sit or squat while you’re trying on jeans to check  “spill over” or ”reveal” (also to gauge comfort level).
  3. It’s all in the rise! This is the entire area from waistband to crotch to side seams. A good fit means: NO bunching, puckering or any EXTRA fabric in this area. It might say low rise, but hit you mid-rise. Don’t rule out a low rise as it depends on your body (torso/leg line). Remember you can measure the rise to help you decide before trying.
  4. Buy two pairs when you find great jeans—one to hem for heels, the other to hem for flats.
  5. Choose a dark wash which is the most flattering and also can be dressed up/down. Special fabric treatments (whiskering) make sense only on areas of the body you want to spotlight.
  6. Think wardrobe. Three to five pairs are the minimum: one or two for dressier occasions or work if your dress code allows (dark, straight-legged denim looks most polished)Wear with a heel. One or two for weekends with flats or sneakers (NOT running shoes) Find a pair (perhaps less expensive) with more stretch for days when are feeling heavier.
  7. Alterations are key if jeans aren’t precisely right. Fit largest part of body and tailor from there.
  8. Prevent fade-out by washing dark jeans inside out in cold water.
  9. Shop online –can be helpful for background info. Check out all the sites below. Lots of great info from Stacy London on the Riders site and video from The Gap.
  10. Do NOT Hem your jeans too short. This is one of the biggest mistakes women make. They should be 1/2 inch from the floor–one inch at the most! You want the longest leg line possible. Try with a heel–even 1-1/2 inches; you will see a significant difference. You will be taller, look thinner and feel ”leggy”. Trust me on this one. I have short legs and this works wonders.

A good sales person will be able to guide you to the correct brands if you are very specific about what you want. It will eliminate brands and save time. A seasoned sales person has seen jeans on many women. Fit patterns develop.  Here are a few things I’ve found that you may like starting with lower price points and moving up. If you want to stay low, I still recommend going to a higher end store first so you learn about proper fit.

Riders by Lee   Old Navy Sweetheart   Gap Curvy Bootcut 


Riders available at Walmart and K-mart: 19.99. Old Navy (prices vary) Ok, so I haven’t tried Gap jeans in years. The minute I got them on, they were a hit. Soft, comfortable fabric, good rise (8.5 and they said LOW rise) and overall a great fit. The best part–the Regular Length was perfect with my heels-no hemming. I do not remember the last time I haven’t had to hem jeans. They even had X long. Price: 59.50/69.50. I also happened to choose a certain Wednesday where they offered 40% off ONE item. What a deal!   

Next price range: Kut from the Kloth  Jag   Not Your Daughter’s Jeans


 $79-109. Nordstrom, Macy’s and other department stores. They go on sale and can be found at the Nordstrom Rack. I like all three. Boot-cut is shown in all pictures, but most of these brands have a straight cut, some a skinny cut and trouser is gaining popularity in many brands. Plus/Petite sizes available.

More on brands and fabric next week. Let me know if you hit the stores and what you liked.

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